On Monday evening, CNN International broke a politically significant story well capsulized in the headline, “Despite tweet, McCaskill attended reception at Russian ambassador’s home.”
As the Sentinel reported earlier, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) thrust herself into the heart of the Russian controversy when she tweeted, “No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever. Ambassadors call members of Foreign [Relations Committee].” In addition to two earlier encounters with the Russian ambassador, CNN revealed that in November 2015 McCaskill also attended a black-tie dinner at the Russian ambassador’s Washington residence. Busted!
That McCaskill overlooked this event even the sympathetic CNN found newsworthy. So did other media outlets around the world. The UK Daily Mail, for instance, headlined its story, “Democratic senator who claims she never met the Russian Ambassador went to a black-tie dinner at his residence.” This was not just a reception as the CNN headline suggested. This was a dinner, and McCaskill was a personal guest of the honoree, former Missouri Congressman James Symington. Symington was being honored for his work enhancing relationships between Russia and the United States back when that was a good thing to do, like two years ago.
The question has to be asked why the Kansas City Star and the Columbia Missourian, as of Tuesday afternoon, both failed to post the story or to follow up on their own? For those who track these publications the answer is pretty obvious. The story does not serve the political agenda of either paper. Imagine, for instance, if Kris Kobach or Eric Greitens were caught in a comparable deception, especially during a campaign cycle.
Instead, the Star is running wish-fulfillment articles like the one on Monday headlined, “President Jason Kander? He’s making all the early moves.” Yes, that is a real headline. True, Kander “never held an office higher than secretary of state.” And true, “He narrowly lost a winnable Senate campaign last year.” And true, “He currently holds no political office.”
But what other Missouri Democrat is worth talking about during the party’s dog days? Apparently not Claire McCaskill.